Co-op housing is not public housing. Nor is it commercial housing based on a landlord/tenant relationship. Co-ops are mixed-income self-governing communities that are home to people of all ages and backgrounds. This diversity is one of the co-op movement’s greatest strengths. Although Helen’s Court is guided by the Co-operative Association Act, our community was founded in activism and maintains a proud tradition of innovative self-governance.

Because co-ops are self-governed and manage their own buildings, co-op members have a duty to participate. They are expected to attend general meetings, join committees, and take on tasks. They should also agree with our core values.

Participation is one of the core values of Helen’s Court. All adults are expected to participate, which could involve serving on a committee or making other significant contributions.

  •  Board of Directors
  •  Finance
  •  Maintenance
  •  Membership
  •  Aging In Place
  •  Children’s
  •  Communications
  •  Dialogue & Peace
  •  Gardening
  •  Health & Safety

There are also several sub-committees such as Common Room, Diversity, and Exterior Design, as well as working groups for essential, but shorter-term tasks.

Well-trained pets are welcome. Destructive or noisy animals are not. Dogs must be leashed in the courtyard. Cats should be litter-box trained.

Only three units at Helen’s Court have no stairs but none of them are wheelchair accessible. 

We accept waitlist applications twice a year, in April and October. Check our home page to see if we’re currently accepting applications. If we are, you’ll find a downloadable form. Download this form, fill it in, and email it to the provided address. The cover letter included with the application will give you further instructions on the process.

Once we receive your application, we will keep it on file for one year. If you wish to remain on the waiting list after a year, you must send an email to the Membership Committee to confirm your interest and provide any changes, such as address, annual income, family composition, or new volunteering experience.

If we don’t receive any communication from you within 12 months of your initial application or a confirmation of your interest, your application will be removed from the waitlist. To be placed back on the waitlist, you’ll need to reapply.

When a unit becomes available, the Membership Committee considers all current applicants on the Waitlist. After confirming with the Helen’s Court Board of Directors the co-op priorities, which change each time a unit becomes available depending on Helen’s Court’s needs, the Membership Committee:

  • Shortlists applications that meet the priorities (e.g. families with dependent children or subsidy) and fit the unit size,
  • Interviews the selected families, and
  • Offers the vacant unit to the selected household.

Other interviewed families go back to the pool of applications and need to confirm their interest in remaining on Helen’s Court’s waitlist. They have no priority over other applicants on the waitlist, and being interviewed at Helen’s Court does not guarantee securing the next vacant unit or being invited to the next interview.

There are coin-operated laundry machines, an underground parking garage (we have fewer parking spots than units so a parking space is not guaranteed) and a common meeting room. We also have a small play structure for kids in the courtyard.

If you have questions about co-op living in general, or would like to see which other co-ops are accepting applications please visit the Co-op Housing Federation of BC .